Monday, May 3, 2010

garden update

The broccoli was up to nine sprouts, but then the next day it was down to four, and the zinnias still had one sprout, but it was a different sprout than the day before. I had deer mice in my mudroom last fall/winter, and had hoped that as the weather warmed up that they had moved on to greener lands, but apparently not.

So the whole sprouting set up had to move to western windows of the front porch, because I don't have a lot of other cat-proof options. At current count, "Elephant" dill has 33 sprouts, lemon balm (no variety name) has 25 sprouts, "Genovese" basil has eight, "Giant of Italy" parsley has seven, the broccoli has five and the zinnia has four. The only seeds that haven't sprouted have been the tomatoes ("Pink Henderson," I don't really know anything about them, they were free) and the moonflowers. I feel bad about the moonflowers, because my grandma has sent me moonflower seeds every year for the past two or three years, and I've never been able to get them to sprout. I have a few left to try. I've been soaking them in water to try to presprout them, and I think that might be the ticket; some of them have little tails unfurling in the water. Now the trick is to keep them growing after I put them in dirt.

Spring has been mild enough that I took a chance and planted my peas and some spinach on April 18, which was probably still a skosh too early, but they're finally germinating now. The spinach ("Gigante d'Inverno") is filling in its rows nicely, although the peas ("Sugar Snap") are a little more patchy. Both my neighbors have either a greenhouse or fancy floating row covers, and I ache with jealousy. Maybe next year I can get fancier. Once the current storm system moves on, I can plant my lettuce, and in another week or two I can put it beets, carrots, radishes and chard.

And when its sunny enough to plant the lettuce, I can also plant the bareroot raspberries I bought from the community garden program on Saturday (attn. locals: they have more raspberries left, and some beautifully huge apple trees too, check out the hillside farmer's market on Wednesday and Saturday). This spring I also mail-ordered some fruit trees from St. Lawrence Nursery (a "Zestar" apple, a "Bali" cherry, a "Nova" pear (which is supposed to be self-fruitful) and two wild serviceberries (Amelanchier canadensis)). I was a bit worried because spring was so surreally early this year that even though they shipped them at the "right" time and I planted them right away that it was still too late somehow, but the apple, cherry and one of the serviceberries have already broken dormancy and are starting to leaf out, and the pear is on its way (the remaining serviceberry looks a bit questionable). It'll be a couple of years until they start producing fruit, but it's really nice to put some stuff in the yard and daydream about the future.

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